401(k) Plan - A retirement plan that allows employees to save money for retirement on a pre-tax basis. Employees may set aside a percentage of their pay in a 401(k) each year, and the contributions and earnings grow tax deferred until withdrawn. The term "401(k)" actually refers to a section of the Internal Revenue Code. Beginning in 2006, 401(k) plans may allow Roth contributions to be made on an after-tax basis (see Roth contributions).
Adviser - You may notice the term in mutual fund prospectuses, commonly referring to the organization, such as a financial services company, responsible for the overall management of a mutual fund.
After-Tax Contribution - Money that employees may elect to set aside in a retirement plan after they have paid Federal income taxes on it. Not all plans allow after-tax contributions.
Aggressive Growth Fund - A mutual fund that takes higher risk in return for potentially higher rewards. Aggressive growth funds are designed to increase the value of the original investment, and often invest in stocks of smaller companies with strong growth potential.
Annual report - The formal financial statement issued yearly by a corporation. The annual report shows assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and earnings - how the company stood at the close of the business year, how it fared profit-wise during the year, as well as other information of interest to shareowners.
Asset - Any property that has monetary value, including homes, cars, jewelry, savings, and investments.
Asset Allocation - The way in which you divide investment dollars between stocks, bonds, and cash investments. Allocating assets among different investment classes may help to improve the potential for savings growth while at the same time reducing overall risk.
Asset Allocation Fund - A mutual fund that generally invests in a mix of stocks, bonds, and cash investments in a proportion designed to meet particular investment goals. Asset allocation funds generally divide your money between various investments so you don’t have to.
Asset Class - A type of investment. The three primary asset classes are stocks, bonds, and cash investments. Different asset classes have various rates of risk and return, and each offers investment opportunities to meet distinct goals.
Balanced Fund - A mutual fund designed to provide income and growth from a combination of stocks and bonds. Balanced funds generally seek to combine long-term growth from stocks with income from bonds and dividends. Because bonds make up a portion of a balanced fund’s portfolio, its share price usually will not vary as much as that of a growth fund.
Basis Point - One one-hundredth of one percent. For example, 20 basis points equal 0.20%. Mutual fund expenses and yield differences among bonds are often calculated using basis points.
Bear Market - A term used to describe a situation in which a stock market loses value over an extended period of time.
Beneficiary - A person designated to receive the proceeds (or benefit) from a qualified retirement plan upon the death of the account holder.
Birth Certificate - A legal document that verifies the date and place of an individual's birth.
Blue Chip - A term used to describe a high quality, relatively low-risk investment. Blue chip stocks, for instance, are generally those of nationally known companies with long records of growth and dividend payments, with reputations for quality management, products, and services.
Bond - An "IOU" that represents money borrowed by a corporation or government. The borrower, or bond issuer, promises to pay back the bond at a specified point in the future, and makes regular interest payments until that date. Prices of bonds go up and down as interest rates rise and fall.
Bond Fund - A mutual fund that invests mainly in bonds. Bond funds tend to be less risky than stock funds, generally offering income and moderate stability.
Book value - An accounting term. Book value of a stock is determined from a company's records, by adding all assets then deducting all debts and other liabilities, plus the liquidation price of any preferred issues. The sum arrived at is divided by the number of common shares outstanding and the result is book value per common share. Book value of the assets of a company or a security may have little relationship to market value.
Broker-Dealer - A financial firm that charges a fee for giving financial advice and selling mutual funds or other investments to the public.
Bull Market - A term that refers to a market that gains value for an extended period of time. An extended bull market began in 1995.
Buy-and-Hold - A strategy that emphasizes holding investments for a long period of time regardless of whether their prices rise or fall.
Capital Appreciation Fund - A mutual fund that seeks growth or an increase in the value of the original investment -- by investing primarily in stocks whose values are expected to rise.
Capital Gain Distributions - Mutual funds buy and sell the securities, called holdings, that make up the fund. When a profit is made from the sale of any of these holdings, the gains are paid out to the fund’s shareholders. These payments are called capital gain distributions, and are made in proportion to the number of shares each individual owns.
Capital Gain or Loss - The difference between what you pay for an investment and what you sell it for. If you sell an asset for more than you paid for it, you will experience a capital gain. Should you sell the asset for less than you paid for it, you will experience a capital loss. For tax purposes, capital gains are divided into short-term and long-term. A profit on the sale of a security held for less than one year is a short-term capital gain, while a profit on the sale of a security held for more than one year is a long-term capital gain. Long-term gains are taxed at a lower rate than short-term gains.
Capital Growth - The increase in value, or appreciation, of an investment. Investors seeking capital growth typically purchase stocks whose values are expected to rise.
Capitalization - The total stock market value of all shares of a company's stock. A company’s market capitalization is determined by how many shares of stock have been issued to the public. A small-capitalization company, for example, has issued under $250 million worth of stock. $250 million to $1 billion is generally considered mid-capitalization, and over $1 billion is considered large capitalization.
Cash Reserves - Short-term investments such as cash deposits, short-term bank deposits, money market instruments, and U.S. Treasury bills. You may find this term in mutual fund prospectuses, indicating that the fund may invest part of its assets in cash reserves for defensive purposes. This means that the fund manager may sell some of the fund’s securities for cash if necessary.
Certificate of Deposit (CD) - An insured, interest-bearing debt instrument issued by a bank that requires the depositor to keep the money invested for a specific period of time.
Commingling - Combining retirement dollars transferred from a qualified retirement plan to an IRA with other IRA dollars. Commingled funds cannot be moved to a qualified plan.
Commission - A fee paid to a broker for executing a trade, such as purchasing or selling stocks. The commission is set by the broker and paid by the individual.
Common Stock - Stocks represent a share in the ownership of a company, and common stock is a class of stock that carries voting rights and earns dividends. The voting rights enable shareholders to vote on issues such as elections to the board of directors and other substantial changes in the corporation’s business affairs. Should a company file for bankruptcy, common stockholders are "last in line" for claims on the corporation’s assets.
Compounding - A powerful force that allows money to build upon itself. Investment gains build upon the money originally invested and also on investment gains made in previous years.
Conduit IRA - A "holding place" for retirement plan savings that may later be transferred to a new employer’s qualified retirement plan. No regular (non-rollover) contributions may be made to a conduit IRA in order to preserve the ability to transfer the amount to a new employer’s qualified plan.
Consolidated balance sheet - A balance sheet showing the financial condition of a corporation and its subsidiaries
Correction - A short-term drop in stock prices that returns prices to what the market considers more reasonable values. In October of 1997, the stock market experienced a day-long "dip" which was considered a correction.
Cost Basis - The original cost of an investment including commissions and other expenses. If you invested $20 that subsequently appreciated to $30, your cost basis would be $20. This figure is generally used to determine gains and losses for tax purposes.
Credit Quality - A measurement of a bond issuer’s credit history and ability to repay interest and principal on time. Certain rating agencies, such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, list credit ratings on corporate and municipal bonds. Bonds with lower credit quality generally offer higher interest rate payments to compensate for their higher risk. Bonds with higher credit quality generally offer lower interest rate payments since they tend to be safer.
Credit Risk - The risk that a bond issuer will not pay principal or interest to the investor when due. Also called "default risk."
Currency Risk - The potential for price fluctuations in the dollar value of international stocks due to changing currency exchange rates. If you invest in global or international mutual funds, you may be taking on currency risk.
Current assets - Those assets of a company that are reasonably expected to be realized in cash, sold or consumed during one year. These include cash, U.S. Government bonds, receivables and money due usually within one year, as well as inventories.
Current liabilities - Money owed and payable by a company, usually within one year.
Custodian - A bank, trust company, or other organization responsible for holding and administering financial assets. All securities held by a mutual fund are safeguarded by a custodian.
Day order - An order to buy or sell that, if not executed, expires at the end of trading day on which it was entered.
Death Certificate - A legal document that documents the date and place of an individual's death.
Defined Benefit Plan - A retirement plan that provides a specified (or defined) benefit at retirement, derived by applying a formula which is usually based on an employee’s average salary and years of service. The employer contributes the estimated amount necessary to fund the benefit at retirement, and makes investment decisions pertaining to the money in the plan. Defined benefit plans are more commonly known as pensions, and have become less common in recent years as defined contribution plans gain popularity.
Defined Contribution Plan - A retirement plan that provides an individual account for each participant. Benefits are based on the amount contributed to the account by the employee and, in many cases, the employer, plus any income, expenses, gains and losses made on the investments in the account.
Direct Rollover - A transfer of money made directly from one qualified plan to another qualified plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA). If you leave your company and decide to move your retirement plan money to your new company’s plan, you may move it by using the direct rollover method.
Director - Person elected by shareholders to serve on the board of directors. The directors appoint the president, vice presidents, and all other operating officers. Directors decide, among other matters, if and when dividends shall be paid.
Distribution - A withdrawal from a retirement plan or IRA. Distributions are taxable and, if made before retirement age, are sometimes subject to penalties.
Diversification - The strategy of "putting your eggs in different baskets," or investing in a variety of securities. Securities like stocks, bonds, and cash investments have different risks and returns, which helps reduce the risk of losing money when the price of any one type falls.
Dividend - The payment designated by the board of directors to be distributed pro rata among the shares outstanding. On preferred shares, it is generally a fixed amount. On common shares, the dividend varies with the fortunes of the company and the amount of cash on hand, and may be omitted if business is poor or the directors determine to withhold earnings to invest in plant and equipment. Sometimes a company will pay a dividend out of past earnings even if it is not currently operating at a profit.
Dollar Cost Averaging - A system of investing a regular amount of money, usually in stocks or mutual funds, on a set schedule, regardless of the price of the investment at the time. The goal of dollar cost averaging is to lower your average cost per share. If the price of a security is high, your money will buy fewer shares. If the price is low, your money will buy more shares. When you participate in your company’s 401(k) plan, you are practicing dollar cost averaging, because you invest the same amount in the same investments each month. Dollar cost averaging does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market, and involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuating price levels. Investors should consider their financial ability to continue purchasing shares during periods of low price levels.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) - A group of 30 major U.S. industrial companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow Jones is generally considered to mirror the New York Stock Exchange as a whole. The S&P 500 index, which tracks 500 companies, is considered to be more representative of the broad U.S. stock market.
Early Withdrawal Penalty - A penalty on money withdrawn from a qualified retirement
Earnings report - A statement, also called an income statement, issued by a company showing its earnings or losses over a given period. The earnings report lists the income earned, expenses and the net result.
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) - A profit sharing, stock bonus, or money purchase plan that invests primarily in the employer's stock. By participating in an ESOP, employees receive shares of company stock, making them part owners of the company while also investing for retirement.
Employer Matching Contribution - A contribution made by an employer to an employee’s 401(k) account. The contribution matches a percentage of the amount the employee contributes.
Expense Ratio - The annual cost of running a mutual fund, expressed in a percentage. The expense ratio includes fund expenses like management fees, administrative fees, operating costs, and sometimes marketing and sales fees.
Fiduciary Responsibility - Federal law places certain responsibilities on the people who have control over your retirement plan’s assets. Those people are called fiduciaries, and they must act prudently when executing transactions on your behalf and always act in your best interest.
Fiscal year - A corporation's accounting year. Due to the nature of their particular business, some companies do not use the calendar year for their bookkeeping. A typical example is the department store that finds December 31 too early a date to close its books after the Christmas rush. For that reason many stores wind up their accounting year January 31. Their fiscal year, therefore, runs from February 1 of one year through January 31 of the next. The fiscal year of other companies may run from July 1 through the following June 30. Most companies, though, operate on a calendar year basis.
Fixed-Income Fund - A mutual fund with the primary goal of providing regular income. To achieve this objective, a fixed-income fund generally invests in bonds, which pay regular income in the form of interest.
Fund Family - A group of mutual funds from the same organization. Many large mutual fund companies offer many different funds, and group them together as a fund family.
Good 'til canceled (GTC) or open order - An order to buy or sell that remains in effect until it is either executed or canceled.
Growth and Income Fund - A mutual fund that seeks long-term growth as well as income. Growth and income funds seek to achieve their goals by purchasing stocks of large, dividend-paying companies with good prospects for future growth. Growth is generated by the increase in stock value, and income generally comes from stock dividends.
Growth Fund - A mutual fund that seeks to provide long-term growth by purchasing stocks of companies that have experienced rapid growth and are expected to continue such growth for an extended period.
Guaranteed Investment Contract (GIC) - A conservative investment product issued by an insurance company that pays a guaranteed interest rate. While the interest rate is guaranteed, the original investment is not guaranteed.
Holdings - The various securities that make up a mutual fund. For instance, a balanced fund’s holdings are many different individual bonds and stocks.
Income - Interest and dividends earned on securities held by a mutual fund and paid out to fund shareholders. An income fund is a mutual fund that seeks to provide income by investing in bonds and/or income-paying stocks.
Index - An indicator or benchmark that measures the performance of a group of securities. The Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500 Index, for instance, is an index of the 500 largest, most actively traded stocks on the New York Stock Exchange. It is generally used as an indicator of the overall health of the U.S. stock market.
Index Fund - A mutual fund that seeks to parallel the performance of a particular stock or bond market index. Index fund managers purchase the same securities as the index they are trying to parallel, and generally do not buy or sell any other securities for the fund. This is why these funds are sometimes called "unmanaged."
Individual Retirement Account (IRA) - A retirement savings account that generally allows a person to contribute up to $2,000 a year. The contributions may be tax-deductible, and earnings accumulate untaxed until they are withdrawn.
Inflation Risk - The possibility that increases in the cost of living will reduce the returns of an investment.
In-Kind Stock Distribution - If you own shares of your employer’s stock and your plan permits; you may have two options when withdrawing them from your account. You may sell the shares for cash, in which case you would receive a check, or you may elect to receive the actual share certificates, in which case you would take the shares in kind.
Institutional investors - Organizations which pool large sums of money and invest those sums in companies. They include banks, insurance companies, retirement or pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds. Their role in the economy is to act as highly specialized investors on behalf of others. For instance, an ordinary person will have a pension from his employer. The employer gives that person's pension contributions to a fund. The fund will buy shares in a company, or some other financial product.
Interest - Payments borrowers pay lenders for the use of their money. A corporation pays interest on its bonds to its bondholders.
Interest Rate Risk - The risk that an investment will decline in price because of changes in interest rates. If you own bonds or bond funds you may be subjecting yourself to interest rate risk.
International Fund - A mutual fund that invests in companies from outside the United States.
Investment Objective - The financial goal that an investor or a mutual fund pursues.
IRA - Individual retirement account. A pension plan with tax advantages. IRAs permit investment through intermediaries like mutual funds, insurance companies and banks, or directly in stocks and bonds through stockbrokers.
IRA Disclosure Statement - A legal document stating the rules that govern an IRA, similar to a mutual fund prospectus. Anyone opening an IRA receives a copy of its disclosure statement.
Liquidity - A measurement of how quickly an investment can be sold for cash. A mutual fund, for example, is usually a very liquid investment, because you can redeem your shares at any time. On the other hand, a house is a very illiquid investment.
Load - The portion of the offering price of shares of open-end investment companies in excess of the value of the underlying assets. Covers sales commissions and all other costs of distribution. The load is usually incurred only on purchase, there being, in most cases, no charge when the shares are sold (redeemed).
Long - Signifies ownership of securities. "I am long 500 IBM" means the person owns 500 shares of International Business Machines Corporation or NYSE:IBM.
Lump Sum Distribution - Payment of an entire benefit under a qualified retirement plan.
Market order - An order to buy or sell a stated amount of a security at the most advantageous price obtainable after the order is represented in the trading crowd.
Market price - The last reported price at which the stock or bond sold, or the current quote.
Market Risk - The possibility that securities prices will go down. People who invest in stocks are subject to market risk.
Market Timing - An investment strategy based on predicting market trends. The goal of market timing is to buy a security before its price goes up and sell before it goes down. Market timing is generally not recommended, as it is very difficult to achieve positive results.
Money Market Fund - A conservative mutual fund that invests in very short-term securities, seeking to maintain a constant price of $1.00 per share. There is no assurance that the funds will maintain a constant price, and money market funds are not guaranteed or insured by the U.S. government.
Money Purchase Pension Plan - A defined contribution retirement plan in which an employer makes a fixed contribution on behalf of each eligible employee each year. The fixed contribution is usually based on the employee’s compensation.
Municipal Bond Fund - A mutual fund that invests in tax-exempt bonds issued by state, city, and local governments. The interest obtained from these bonds is passed through to shareholders and is generally free of Federal, state, and local income taxes. Because of their tax-free status, these funds are generally not available for use in retirement plans.
Mutual Fund - An investment company that pools money from individuals and buys securities according to a shared, or "mutual," investment objective.
National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) - An organization set up to protect the investing public against fraudulent acts.
Net Asset Value (NAV) - The dollar value of a share of a mutual fund. Net asset values are calculated at the end of each business day by mutual fund companies, and are determined by dividing the market value of a fund's total assets, minus expenses, by the number of shares outstanding.
No-Load Fund - A mutual fund that sells its shares without charging a sales commission, or load. No-load funds can be purchased directly from the mutual fund company. No-load mutual fund companies typically do not provide investment advice.
Non-Liquid Asset - Not readily convertible to cash, such as a stock, bond or commodity that is not traded actively. Also, securities that are not traded through a public exchange such as private equity, limited partnerships and real estate.
Non-Qualified Plan - A retirement plan that does not meet the IRS requirements for favorable tax treatment, and is essentially an unsecured promise to pay benefits. A non-qualified plan has fewer limitations than a qualified plan, and is often used as a benefit for select highly paid employees who are already receiving maximum benefits under their qualified plans.
Portfolio - A collection of mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and other investments. The combined holdings in a mutual fund are also called its portfolio.
Pre-Tax Contributions - Money contributed to a retirement plan on a pre-tax basis that is not subject to current Federal taxes. Taxes are paid when money is withdrawn at a later date. 401(k) plan contributions are made through pre-tax deductions from an employee’s paycheck.
Price-to-earnings ratio - A popular way to compare stocks selling at various price levels. The P/E ratio is the price of a share of stock divided by earnings per share for a 12-month period. For example, a stock selling for $50 a share and earning $5 a share is said to be selling at a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.
Profit Sharing Plan - A plan in which an employer contributes money to employees’ retirement accounts. The level of employer contributions is variable and may be based entirely on employer discretion. Actual contributions are usually a percentage of each eligible employee’s compensation.
Prospectus - A mutual fund's legal selling document. It contains information about investment objectives, policies, risks, costs, and performance. Before purchasing shares of a mutual fund, whether for your retirement account or a personal account, you should always read its prospectus.
Qualified Retirement Plan - A retirement plan that meets the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code enabling it to qualify for favorable tax treatment, often permitting the employer to deduct contributions to the plan. The principal tax advantage is that participants can postpone paying taxes on contributions and earnings until money is withdrawn at a later date.
Risk - The potential to lose money or not gain value on an investment. There are many different types of risk, including market risk, inflation risk, and currency risk.
Risk Tolerance - Your ability to withstand declines in the prices of the investments you own. Your level of risk tolerance will help you determine whether you are a conservative, moderate, or aggressive investor. Your risk tolerance depends upon how long you have to invest, your financial circumstances, and personal preference.
Rollover IRA - Also known as a conduit IRA, it is a "holding place" for retirement plan savings that may later be transferred to a new employer’s qualified retirement plan or IRA. No regular (non-rollover) contributions may be made to a rollover IRA in order to preserve the ability to transfer the assets to a new employer’s qualified plan.
Roth Contributions - Money contributed to a retirement plan on an after-tax basis. Taxes are paid when the money is contributed, but earnings on Roth contributions grow tax-free. Tax-free distributions may be made after age 59.5, death or disability provided the Roth account has been open for at least 5 years. Not all plans allow Roth contributions.
Securities - Investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares. Securities are issued by corporations, governments, or other entities, and offer shares of ownership or a creditor relationship.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) - The primary federal regulatory agency responsible for administering the laws governing the securities industry and protecting investors from securities fraud and malpractice. The SEC regulates mutual funds, investment advisers, stock and bond markets, and broker-dealers.
Share - A unit of ownership in a corporation or mutual fund. As a shareholder, you may receive voting rights, dividends, and a proportionate share of the company's assets.
Share Price - The value of one share of a mutual fund. Share prices are usually calculated every business day, taking into account the daily changing values of fund holdings.
Signature Guarantee - A signature guarantee is usually required to change the ownership of an investment account. Its purpose is to protect the account owner from forgery, and is often granted by a bank in the form of a stamp or seal.
Stock - A security that represents part ownership in a corporation. Each share of stock is a claim on part of the corporation's assets and profits, some of which may be paid out as dividends. Stocks can be bought and sold on various exchanges.
Stock dividend - A dividend paid in securities rather than in cash. The dividend may be additional shares of the issuing company, or in shares of another company (usually a subsidiary) held by the company.
Stock Exchange - The physical location where stocks and bonds are bought and sold. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), for instance, is the oldest and largest stock exchange in the U.S. The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) is also located in New York. Companies that trade on this exchange are generally smaller than those traded on the NYSE.
Stock Fund - A mutual fund whose holdings consist mainly of stocks.
Stock symbols - Every corporation whose transactions are reported on the NYSE or on NASDAQ has been given a unique identification symbol of up to four letters. These symbols abbreviate the complete corporate name and facilitate trading and ticker reporting.
Stop limit order - A stop order that becomes a limit order after the specified stop price has been reached.
Stop order - An order to buy at a price above or sell at a price below the current market. Stop buy orders are generally used to limit loss or protect unrealized profits on a short sale. Stop sell orders are generally used to protect unrealized profits or limit loss on a holding. A stop order becomes a market order when the stock sells at or beyond the specified price and, thus, may not necessarily be executed at that price.
Summary Annual Report - A basic financial statement that must be provided to participants in a qualified retirement plan. It includes the name of the plan and employer, the period covered by the report, a basic financial statement, and notice that a full annual report is available upon request.
Summary Plan Description (SPD) - A written description of the main provisions of a qualified retirement plan that must be distributed to participants and beneficiaries in a timely manner.
Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan - A retirement plan in which payment of taxes is postponed until amounts are withdrawn. If you save through a tax deferred retirement plan, the money you would normally pay in taxes will remain in your account until you begin making withdrawals (usually upon retirement), during which time it may have a chance to accumulate and compound. When you begin making withdrawals, you will be required to pay taxes on that money, although you may fall into a lower tax bracket at that time. 401(k) plans are tax-deferred retirement plans.
Technical research - Analysis of the market and stocks based on supply and demand. The technician studies price movements, volume, trends and patterns, which are revealed by charting these factors, and attempts to assess the possible effect of current market action on future supply and demand for securities and individual issues.
Total Return - The amount you earn on an investment over a specific period of time, calculated by adding the change in price of an investment plus any income or other distributions. Total return is expressed as a percentage. For example, a stock that rose 8% in price and paid a dividend of 4% would have a total return of 12%.
Trust - A legal entity established under state law that holds and administers plan assets for the benefit of participants and beneficiaries. Qualified retirement plan assets are required to be held in a trust to ensure that they will be available for a participant's retirement.
Trustee - The party authorized to hold the assets of a retirement plan in trust. The trustee is responsible for investing the property according to the plan participant’s instructions, and ensuring that the property is available upon the participant’s retirement.
Value Investing - An investment strategy that emphasizes purchasing stocks with below-average prices. "Value investors" look for stocks that are selling at a discount, expecting them to return to their actual worth at some point in the future.
Vesting - A process in which an employee gains ownership of employer contributions made on their behalf to a qualified retirement plan. This process applies only to employer contributions, because participants always have full ownership of their own contributions. A vesting schedule allows an employee to retain a larger percentage of a company contribution over time, based on a minimum amount of service. In most cases, the longer you stay at a company, the larger percentage of company-contributed money you can take with you when you leave.
Volatility - The sharp price movement of a stock, mutual fund, market, or other investment.
Volume - The number of shares or contracts traded in a security or an entire market during a given period. Volume is usually considered on a daily basis and a daily average is computed for longer periods.
Voting right - Common stockholders' right to vote their stock in affairs of a company. Preferred stock usually has the right to vote when preferred dividends are in default for a specified period. The right to vote may be delegated by the stockholder to another person
Yield - A percentage of return an investor receives based on the annual interest or dividend payments from a stock, bond, mutual fund, annuity, or other investment. Yields are usually stated as a percentage of the investment’s price.